Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia are barely on speaking terms after a bitter falling-out but the two women will scrap it out for a place in the Roland Garros quarter finals.
French quarter finalist guaranteed at French Open
Cornet reached the last 16 for the just second time with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska who lost all her seven service games. Garcia, seeded 28, made the fourth round of a Slam for the first time with a 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 win over Taiwan's world number 109 Hsieh Su-Wei. Those wins guaranteed the home nation will have at least one quarter-finalist in Paris for the first time since Marion Bartoli in 2011.
However, Cornet admitted that her relationship with Garcia has virtually broken down. “I think that the relationship is not very good”, the 27-year-old confessed. “I think she may have a grudge against us, so she's not ready to talk with me, so I don't think that it will be good to talk to her, because we are playing against each other. But one day I hope that we’ll be able to talk about it. And I'm patient. I understand that the whole story has upset her”.
Garcia fell out with her teammates after she severed her successful doubles relationship with Kiki Mladenovic. The 23-year-old then pulled out of the Fed Cup team in April despite being nominated for the tie with Spain. There had already been controversy over her selection as Garcia had earlier stated she did not want to play in the event at all in 2017. When she withdrew in April, Mladenovic, Cornet and team mate Pauline Parmentier all tweeted: 'LOL', all within a minute of each other.
Garcia hit back in a newspaper interview, saying the words were “hurtful”. On Saturday, there was no sign of a thaw in the ice-cold relationship with Cornet. “I received a text message but no apologies. She said she was still standing behind her tweets”, Garcia explained before going on to add: “I don't want to prove anything to anybody. I have played tennis for a long time. I just play for myself, for my team. If people can enjoy my game, it's good”.
Mladenovic, the French number one, booked her place in the last 16 on Friday, giving the hosts three players in the fourth round for the first time in 23 years.